Arizona is filled with beautiful tourist destinations. But what about the places just off the beaten path? The places that aren’t at the top of every tourist’s must-see list?
If you want to see the places in Arizona that most visitors (and even many locals) don’t know about, check out these locations.
Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson
This immense underground area dates back to the prehistoric days, when it was used as a shelter by early humans. It was officially discovered in the 1800s and is now considered one of the hidden gems of the Grand Canyon State. Exploring the canyon will get you up close to its stunning stalagmites, stalactites, flowstones, and helictites. The cave is part of the 128-year-old La Posta Quemada Ranch, where you can enjoy a petting zoo, horseback riding, and overnight camping.
The Wave, Marble Canyon
Do you like playing the lottery? Then this is the destination for you. It takes a lucky break to get into this exclusive, highly protected area. Only 64 people per day are permitted to visit this stunning destination near the Arizona-Utah border, and they are chosen via a lottery system. It will most definitely be your lucky day when your name is called because these calcified sand dunes create some of the most awe-inspiring scenery you have ever witnessed.
Tonto Natural Bridge, Payson
Did you know that the largest travertine (a type of limestone) natural bridge in the entire world is located in the heart of Arizona? Head over to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to witness it for yourself. Over time, the natural waterways of the area eroded the limestone, leaving an opening in the rock that created the bridge. You can explore one of the four trails in the area that will take you straight down into the canyon to get an up-close look at this natural wonder.
Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve, Phoenix
Right in the capital, you’ll find this Arizona State University-managed preserve, which protects the largest collection of Native American petroglyphs in the Phoenix area. Enjoy the self-guided quarter-mile trail that will introduce you to local plant and animal life as well as these beautiful petroglyphs, some of which date back to 7,000 years ago.
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